VR has been a huge craze this year, more so for what it promises than what it's delivered. Still, everyone has been asking if or when Nintendo will get back into the VR game, and if we'll soon see Mario in virtual reality. Well, according to Miyamoto there's a few reasons why Mario in VR wouldn't work.
Speaking with USA Today via translator, Shigeru Miyamoto, one of the chief creative minds behind many of Nintendo's most successful franchises, talked about why Mario and a new Super Mario game won't be in VR anytime soon...
I would agree that adapting Mario to new platforms is a key to keeping him relevant, but we want families to play together, and virtual reality (which requires players to be closed off from the real world) doesn't really fit well there. We also like people playing for a long time, and it's hard to do that in VR.
Both those points are very relevant and very true. Right now, VR has not been marketed as a multiplayer or inclusive entertainment activity, nor has it been targeting the multiplayer sector all that much. There are a few games with online multiplayer, but typically Nintendo has always valued local multiplayer over online multiplayer. And right now, there doesn't appear to be any viable and affordable local multiplayer solutions for recreational VR usage within the home.
Miyamoto is also right insofar about not being able to play for very long. Many people who are not well acclimated to certain kinds of VR experiences have had difficulty with motion sickness, vertigo and nausea. One of the most high-profile cases of what's being labeled as "VR sickness" took place at this past year's E3 when Capcom unveiled a playable VR demo of Resident Evil 7 and multiple journalists and individuals who managed to play-test the demo came away sick.
Some people have issues with the field of view causing them nausea, others have issues with the way acceleration and momentum are handled in VR titles, some have problems with the framerate and the lack of smoothness thereof. For the most part, each of these issues contribute to some people being restricted to playing VR games on headsets like the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive for only limited amounts of time. Such an issue would make it hard to spend an entire Saturday afternoon playing something like Mario Kart or Super Smash Bros without constantly stopping to take a breather.
Of course, all of this is not to say that Nintendo has completely forgone the possibility of adapting VR for their games sometime down the line. Their last foray into the VR sector with the Virtual Boy did not go well at all. In fact, many of the exact same issues that were mentioned in the above paragraph were the same issues people experienced more than 20 years ago with the Virtual Boy... only, it had worse frame-rates, worse graphics, and even lower playability.
For now Nintendo is focused on getting the Nintendo NX up and out in spring of 2017. Depending on how things go from there maybe we'll see them reexamine the VR landscape and have a go at it again if the VR market eventually goes mainstream.